Learner Society

8 Steps to be successful sell online courses

Are you a student, coach, consultant, speaker, entrepreneur, or social media enthusiast? You can leverage our experience to sell online courses for financial independence. It does not matter whether you have done this earlier or not.

The creation and selling of an online course is a perfect way to provide knowledge and to create regular passive income flow.
If you have the experience to share, a story to tell, you can create an online course and sell it to thousands with just a few clicks.

Most of us, at some point in our life, shall have attended one or other online courses or online training. And most of us had a feeling that to create and sell online courses one might require specialized skills.

Though traditionally it is yes but now with decent quality cameras in every smartphone and a platform like Thinkific has made all this process very simple. You can start to create and sell online courses today itself with Thinkific.

Steps To Create A Successful & Sell Online Courses

Here are some steps to successfully create and sell online courses that can paint a better picture of ways to create a course that pulls maximum traffic.

  1. Identify the knowledge area for your course 

It is important that the topic you chose is well researched and you have extensive knowledge about it. The topic should fascinate you, excite you, and most importantly be your favorite topic to talk about. It can be about the area you are working for years or relates to your life experiences or the skill about which you have read a lot, rehearsed a lot.

It can be just anything you are good at, gardening is your passion, or yoga you are expert at, music is your forte, you have some secret tips about photography or you know how to make a good mobile app.

If you enjoy the topic so will be your trainees. 

  1. Ensure the topic is having demand

After selecting the perfect topic, the next step is to ensure whether the topic has a high market demand or not.

Most course designers are misaligned to think that their concept of the course will not be well received if there is a lot of competition in the industry. However, this indicates that the market demand for this course concept is high and therefore deserves further study.

If you have answered ‘Yes’ for the following three, you have the secret ingredient to create and sell online courses:

  • Is this the topic being discussed across various platforms?
  • Were people asking questions & curious about?
  • Can you identify a smaller niche than what your competitors are offering?

After having done thorough research on the topic, you might have an explosion of ideas in your mind. However, it is important to narrow the course content and make it simple for the viewers.

Do not try to dump all those piles of information for your audience which you are gathering during your research phase. Try to limit yourself to the burning problem which your audience will be facing or filling up those gaps that your competitors have skipped.

Use tools like Miro, to organize your idea and storyboarding.

  1. Structure / Plan the course topics & learning modules.

Once you have decided which topics should be there under the course module, start constructing the course module and plan out how to carry it further.

Start to combine your related topics, tips, and ideas into modules. The next step is to transform the lectures within these modules into the most progressive and logical manner so that they form an engaging sequence of information.

  1. Engaging and effective delivery of the course module

Now the time to determine delivery effectiveness for the course modules. The principle to keep in mind is that it shall be engaging, keep interested in your audience, and deliver value to them.

Decide on reading content, slides, graphics, videos, audios, quizzes, and activities to go with your training content.
Ensure that you maintain a good and balanced text, audio, and visuals.

Under this step, you need to keep in mind all the methods and principles of teaching.

  1. Course Production to sell online courses

This is the time to stitch all those ideas which you have defined so far. You are also determined by now how your course will be delivered.

Let’s get to the drawing board or the film studio. Or simply bring all these to live in action at your computer.

One of the most effective ways of delivering online courses is through visual content.

Some of the techniques to use are capturing head video (you speak and record).  Use the green screen behind the video capture as this will help in editing. A small investment (approx US $5/ INR 400) will make your video stand out and easy to edit.

Do not compromise on the microphone, as audio is going to be a key decider. I recommend using Boya collar mic (undoubtedly best collar mic as a very reasonable price)

Capturing your computer screen (while demonstrating from the computer) is called screencasting.

The next set of activities are adding the sound, adding logos, images, text, graphs, graphics, and pop-ups to the videos.

  1. Publish and market your course

Now that you are ready to take your courses to the audience. The next step is to place it in front of the audience (trainees). You need to decide where you publish your course and how to get more and more people to take your courses.

You need to select a platform that has a multitude of potential users and at the same time the platform which can highlight your courses and promote to its users. There are platforms like Skillshare, Udemy, Thinkific, which not only publish but also help to create and sell online course.

You have to market your course to the participants through these platforms. This is where Thinkific comes handy, as marketing your course is much smoother as per my experience.

You can even market your course in social media, Facebook and Instagram are two major publicity sources. You can also opt for Youtube or google AdSense.

These approaches will help you to reach your targeted potential audience and right there on top of their interest level.

  1. Decide on pricing to sell online courses

The main reason why you are creating and selling online courses is to earn through it. So costing has to be right. Keep in mind that this is your intellectual property and will keep bringing earning to you even in the longer run. The right source for long-term passive income. While deciding the costing of your course, a few basic aspects to keep in mind:

  1. What all it cost you for creating this course. If you have purchased any equipment/software/services and you propose to use it for other courses, then take a fraction of the cost for this course.
  2. How much time you have spent researching for the course, collecting information, shaping that information to your course structure, production of course, and post-production activities. You must add a monetary figure to the time you have spent.
  3. What is the minimum trainee you are expecting for this course? This shall be based on the research-based indicator. Remember it is not the trainee who joins your course on day-1 or day-x but over a defined period of the time, say six months or twelve months.
  4. Do a quick research and find what your competitors are charging for similar courses. Your costing has to be in similar lines.

Now once you have all costing factors in place and you have determined the trainee size, determining pricing is easier.

Some calculations for you:

Say for a course Z, you procured software and tools worth the US $2000, and you plan to recover this in 5 courses. So the cost proportion for this course will be $400 (A). You have spent around 50 hours for this course, and you want to take $50 per hour as your time value, this makes it $2500 (B). You decided to invest around $300(C) for the marketing promotion of your course. Your research indicates that you can get around 400 (D) trainees in the next six months.

Price to offer = [(A)+(B)+(C)] / (D) = [$400 + $2500 + $300] /400 = $8 (pretty attractive isn’t it!)

Many experts suggest that you offer the first few courses free of cost, to ensure gaining sizable followers. But this is all about your choice. My recommendation: you can make short snippets from the main course and offer that as free promotional material. You are always tempted to keep the price very low, but that is not recommended as this creates a negative impression.

  1. Keep promoting for long term income

Remember your pricing is done based on a certain number of trainees or users for your courses. You expect them over some time, you need to keep promoting your courses.

You can reduce the intensity of promotion or focus on a new course once you have reached the target, but remember your course will remain on the platform for a long time, and every additional user signing in above & beyond the expected number is a bonus for you.

The selection of platforms is more important for long term gain from your course, then just for the immediate one. The platform that does not push your course out or down is important. Thinkific fits your bill here.

And while you are promoting your next course, keep referring your users to this one too.

Common Mistakes Made By The Creators

By now you have understood that to create and sell online courses and being successful has a defined step of criteria. It is very common to make mistakes during the process. Hence, we have created a checklist of mistakes one must avoid during the process of creating an online course.

  • Focus on solving problems for your users, not demonstrating what you know. This is the most common pitfall for many online course creators. Remember users are not interested in what you know, but interested in whether you know what they want or not.
  • Keep training courses short – With the advent of social media, an individual’s span for a knowledge source and also for training has shortened. This is one factor that many course creators miss out on while creating the course modules. Keep the topic short and engaging is the key to success.
  • Spending on tools, software subscription, hiring relevant resources – be wise, and do not avoid spending on some of such tools, they are key for the better quality and engagements of your course. Though it is understandable that when you are a solopreneur, and you are developing your first few courses, you might not have the budget to spend. You might not be in a position to identify the right set of tools & resources.

Key Takeaways

A global pandemic has transformed the overall education scenario. Education from home is now more the new normal. Economic uncertainty is leading people to get themself re-skilled at a faster pace.

The next five to ten years will bring a paradigm shift on how people learn, trained, and skilled.

The online courses developed before 2020 were without thinking of the post-pandemic world. Ride the early wave and get successful by developing and selling online courses for the new normal generation.

We partnered with the most prominent all-in-one platform to create and sell online course: Thinkific to bring value for our users. Here, on a single platform, you can create your course, market it to the users and deliver them while earning great revenue. Our partnership with Thinkific offers one-month FREE professional membership